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november 6th except for the 25 states where early voting has begun and voters are locked in. time as they say, is elastic. it's monday september 24th and this is "now." joining me today, msnbc political analyst and former rnc chairman the notorious michael steele. >> yeah. >> turns to set after a long hiatus. sam stein of "the huffington post" is here, the most vice president heather mcghee and "rolling stone" editor ehrlich bates. >> despite a proverbial flat tire following a rocky week for the governor the romney/ryan campaign launches a bus tour through ohio. last night on cbs romney insisted his campaign will be making no u-turns. >> a lot of republicans would like to know a lot of your
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donors would like to know, how do you turn this thing around? >> it doesn't need a turn around. we have a campaign which is tied with an incumbent president of the united states. >> romney's bus has another pot hole to navigate around this week. the campaign released his 2011 tax documents on friday afternoon, along with a 20-year summary of his returns since 1990. the 2011 returns show the governor paid 14.1% in taxes, on over $13 million of investment income. president obama's campaign is already bringing romney's taxes back to the forefront releasing this ad in ohio today. >> mitt romney attacked 47% of americans who pay no income tax including veterans, elderly, the disabled. >> my job is not to worry about those people. >> doesn't the president have to worry about everyone? mitt romney paid just 14.1% in taxes last year. he keeps millions in bermuda and the cayman islands, won't release his tax returns before 2010. maybe instead of attacking
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others on taxes, be romney should come clean on his. >> and this weekend the president made sure to highlight what is by now quite obvious to most americans namely that mitt romney is not strapped for cash. >> and i want to keep your taxes low. but i can afford to pay a little more and mitt romney sure can afford to pay a little bit more. >> meanwhile, the 2011 returns show romney actually paid more than he needed to. romney listed a little over $4 million in charitable donations but only claimed a deduction for $2.25 million. if he had taken the full deduction citizens for tax justice calculate he would have paid less than 11% in taxes. this move conflicts with the qualification romney himself established for presidential candidates earlier this year. >> i pay all the taxes that are legally required and not a dollar more. i don't think you want someone as the candidate for president who pays more taxes than he owes. >> a reversal of positions? questionable political strategy shrouded in strange obfication,
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not mitt romney. never. michael steele. >> why me? >> come to me first. >> it's not your job anymore. >> it's not my job. they fired me from that job. >> let's talk strategy. there are 43 days to go. as i said in a round about fashion, direct fashion, 25 states in the country early voting started. >> it's a problem. >> it's a big deal and it's like -- this is a legitimate portion of the electorate that's checking boxes and in colorado in 2008, nearly 80% of people who voted in that state voted by mail, which is to say early. my question is, romney releasing the tax returns now, is this going to be the last thing voters think about before they check the box? >> the timing on this could not have been more, how shall we say, painful? simply because you're releasing tax returns that the conversation starts aif new, just as voters are going to get their, you know, their ballots early. and it fills into that narrative
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that there's something about this guy that just isn't right for me. he doesn't get me. i may have been persuaded by the convention, clint eastwood not with standing but the reality here we are talking about tax returns, release the dam things so we can move on. since you don't want do that maybe there's an issue. that's the narrative you don't want. we're still not talking about the economy, his prescription for job creation. i think it's a problem. i think you hear it in the rank and file among republicans but certainly among the party. >> who are the republican glitteratty? >> it's a secret list most in undisclosed locations. >> they begin to espouse and quiet chatter in quiet rooms that they are concerned about the direction this campaign and where it's going. >> or in the pages of the "wall street journal." >> or in the pages of the "wall street journal." >> i think we are talking about mitt romney's plan for job creation, when we talk about the fact that he paid so little
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taxes because that is his plan for job creation, right? it's more tax cuts. more tax cuts. for people like himself. and it's just sort of this fundamental -- >> more tax cuts for everybody. >> well actually, when people have crunched the numbers to figure out how you make the $5 trillion in additional tax cuts add up -- it's going to have to be some tax increases on the middle class through closing deductions. but it's really kind of the question of sort of what creates value in this economy and i think mitt romney and a lot of conservatives idea is that it is people who are already wealthy, millions ariannas and billionaires who create taxes. afthe country is sort of hopeless losers. >> you make a very good point there. the engine of this economy has always been the middle class. so from my perspective, as a republican, who, you know, argued and fought for, you know, lower taxes to stimulate that middle class entrepreneurism and small business owners who create a vast majority of the jobs out there, that's the piece of the conversation that has been
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missing for quite some time, i feel. >> it's hard to know what's going to happen to the middle class and small business owners, the cloing of the loopholes are supposed to generate revenue but romney's folks, the way they sort of -- the way they make the math work is by raising taxes on those making between 100 and $200,000 which is in many cases the middle class. to go back to the strategy behind releasing taxes on a friday, and having had the week that he did, sam, is the thinking that mitt romney thought -- the thinking that he thought -- was the idea here at this point in the election he would have enough of a lead or enough padding that they could do this, they said october 15th, we've known this was coming for some time, they just had the worst i'd say month ever, they couldn't have predicted that but had to get the taxes out at some point. >> i can't figure out what the rationale was for last friday. i think it's a really peculiar decision. i think that way of -- their entire handling of the tax
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disclosure issue, this is a story that's gone on for six months. >> yep. >> it started in the republican primary. he knew it was a problem then. probably less of a problem then than in the general election. they had plenty of time to think about this. not to pension he had plenty of -- mention he had plenty of years to structure his tax returns because he was running for president all those years. here we are, about 45 days minus until the election and still talking about it. it's a real failure and a sign of the ineptitude of the romney campaign. it's remarkable. >> or the candidate. we keep talking about there's a lot of blame placed on -- >> he could say -- list,en the stick in the mud and say i don't want to release this information against the will of his advisors and what are you going to do? >> right. >> alex, the gop strat gris said this will drag mitt's taxes back into the debate. i can't imagine why they would do this. there are 40 days left and you have made more of them about
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taxes. paul ryan, mitt romney's running mate in 2010 at the chamber of commerce said this about the cayman islands. let's hear it. >> we don't want to have a situation where we're penalizing businesses for keeping their money, their capital and headquarters and manufacturing facilities in america. so then rather than having ireland and the kay maine islands be the place you hide your money, why don't we make it america? >> ryan is making part of a larger argument bringing money back to the u.s., but the place you hide your money, the cayman islands, the place mitt romney hides his money, setting aside the tax rate question, the loaded words, swiss bank accounts, cayman islands, and mitt romney all in one sentence together. >> it's hard to know where to start here. we actually know a lot about romney's money and where he puts it for tax purposes. and what we know about that is he puts it in places where people go to cheat. where they go to hide their money for tax purposes, swiss bank accounts, cayman islands, luxembourg one of the most
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notorious tax avens. we know why he's not releasing his tax returns. he will lose if he does. the american people will see he's laundering his money to avoid paying taxes on it. basic question, the swiss bank account he revealed for the first time on his 2010 tax returns the year after his swiss bank ubs was busted for evading tax evasion and the clients of that bank were offered a one-time amnesty deal if they came forward. so did he have that account in 2009? easy to tell if he gives us the 2009 account and he won't do that. >> this is the problem. it's almost like we've gone to a presumption of guilt in some respects. i'm not saying we're accusing him yet but we are. that's his problem because he has created this climate where there's so much secrecy surrounding it, that it would almost -- it almost seems silly he wouldn't be transparent about it. >> the 20-year summary is just enough to keep people frothing at the mouth for more
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information. >> it's frustrating because this is really not a complicated thing to do. you just release the tax returns. everyone and their brother knows you're rich and you have been rich a long time. >> this is what prompts their speculation. if it's not that complicated -- >> a made a gazillion dollars, i parked some of it over here completely legal because the loopholes in the system allowed me to do that and so as president i want to fix that so we don't have those loopholes. >> michael steele, if he's known -- >> you know what i'm. >> mitt romney has been running for president for years and years. >> known this six years. >> it's not that hard. >> it's not new. >> points to a ser yaus flaw with him as a candidate, isn't just he's a bad strategist but an entitlement or above it all sense -- >> that's giving him more credit than necessary. it's a tone deafness to what the perform -- american people expect. it's not necessarily the media driving the story. you want to talk and hunger over it. eric and his crew want to write
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about it. that's baked into this. the real thing is what the american people expect in tough times from leaders. are you willing to expose yourself a little bit. willing to share a little bit. i get obama saying i can afford to pay a little more. write a bigger check if you wouldn't to pay more. -- wouldn't want to pay more. it happens on both sides. romney in this case, really had -- gave away the upper hand on this issue by putting it out early, could have done it in december of '11, we would not be talking about it in september or october of '12, it would have been vested and everyone moved on. six weeks before the election, having this. >> half the country is already doing early voting. >> already doing early voting. >> when it comes to specifics about his prescription for government, governor romney says the devil's in the details. the republican ticket may be looking to the heavens for inspiration. >> today, if we want to send an astronaut to the space station, we have to pay the russians to take them there.
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china may some day be looking down on us from the moon. that's unacceptable. >> that's that sounds downright grinch-ian. we've search high and low for policy ideas next on "now." bob... oh, hey alex. just picking up some, brochures, posters copies of my acceptance speech. great! it's always good to have a backup plan, in case i get hit by a meteor. wow, your hair looks great. didn't realize they did photoshop here. hey, good call on those mugs. can't let 'em see what you're drinking. you know, i'm glad we're both running a nice, clean race. no need to get nasty. here's your "honk if you had an affair with taylor" yard sign. looks good. [ male announcer ] fedex office. now save 50% on banners.
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you've tried things that haven't worked. the jobs plan, the jobs bill, you haven't been able to get it through congress. isn't that some of your responsibility? >> i take full responsibility for everything that we do, steve. you're asking two different
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questions. you're asking question number one have i been able to get every plan that would work, through a republican congress. >> right. >> that said it's number one priority was beating me as opposed to helping the american people. >> while the president didn't exactly have an answer to that question, both accepting responsibility and shifting blame to republicans, mitt romney did some dodging of his own on tax policy. when asked to name which tax deductions his tax proposal eliminates the governor punted. >> that's something congress and i will have to work out together. >> you're asking the american people to hire you as president of the united states. they'd like to hear some specifics. >> well i can tell them specifically what my policy looks like. >> and the devil's in the details, though. what are we talking about? the mortgage deduction, the charitable deduction? >> the devil's in the details. the angel is in the policy which is creating more jobs. >> what? >> what does -- i listened to that and -- who -- what? who's on earth in the devil's in the details the angels in the
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policy. what does that mean? >> it means that it's basically mythic, right. he's asking for a mythical plan that will do something to spur job creation. i mean this is really -- i almost feel really bad for conservatives at this point where pretty much the entire last 20 years of economic affects have shown that the mantra of cutting taxes at the top, of cutting regulations, of you know cutting spending has produced the weakest economy for the working and middle class that we've seen since before the great depression and it's really tough because now they just have to say things like, the policy, the angels have the policy. right? it's tough. you can't actually go to numbers. >> the problem with what you just said is, in fact, they did not cut spending and the only period that they did where those policies that you talked about with respect to taxes and the like that cut spending and worked was in the clinton era where you had gingrich and clinton. >> they raised taxes. >> they cut taxes too and cut
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spending and that's the key. that's the key linchpin. when you look at the last 20 plus years, it's the level of spending by the federal government, with respect to gdp and other indices that has really driven at least for a lot of conservatives and the grass roots activists, spurred the movement we saw in 2009 and 2010, it was around government spending. >> if you look at what that government spending was, this is the key, something about the kinds of investments we need to be making that will grow the middle class. infrastructure, early childhood and care in education which is absolutely -- first of all many of the middle-class jobs, creating -- >> what middle class jobs. you're laying roads. that's not the same as someone who owns a small business in the neighborhood. >> how do you think the people get to the small business in the neighborhood. >> a construction worker once he's done building the road will open up a small business? >> that's not the contention, mike. >> what are you saying in. >> it's fair to say the growth disparity between the middle class and upper class -- it's not a bush problem or clinton
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problem, a multidecade problem. >> absolutely. >> it's fair to say if you look at any economic model spending on infrastructure has a big bang for your buck than tax cuts for the wealthy. the problem with respect to mitt romney he hasn't laid out any specifics but a problem with respect to obama. david axelrod was on "morning joe" talking about social security reform and said we'll wait and see. >> this is david axelrod going back and forth with mark halperin on social security. >> what's his proposal? >> mark, i'll tell you what, when you get elected to the united states senate and sit at that table we'll have -- this is not the time to -- we're not going to have that discussion right now. unless the congress wants to sit at a table and say okay, we're ready to move on a balanced approach to this. >> okay. this is -- the showdown here, the specific -- the showdown on specifics theoretically will happen on the debate stage.
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look at both that clip and the angels in the policy or wherever the angels and devils are, and david axelrod suggesting that mark halperin needs to be a senator before the president outlines his plan, someone will have to get specific on the national stage. >> obama in front of the aarp forum suggested he could raise the caps on the taxes that go to social security. he did put out a specific. i'm not sure why david didn't go for that there. during the debate it's going to become evident who can offer a specific agenda. the person that doesn't is going to take a hit. >> doesn't matter, neither one of them will. because right now, obama's winning without specifics and romney is positioning himself without the -- >> i think that's a false comparison. obama has a record to run on. it was romney's strategy to put forward to know specifics so he could run against obama's record. that's not working for him. >> yeah. his record is $6 trillion worth
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of debt. how is he addressing that in the next four years? >> he does have a budget for that. you might not like the budget for ha. >> the democrats rejected? >> yeah. but -- >> i just want to make sure -- >> the same thing -- >> simpson-bowles. >> you're changing position now and saying he does have one and you don't like it. >> it's all cool with the budget that the democrats rejected. >> no. my point was -- my point was that he has a record. >> does he have specifics? yes. it's a budget. >> what are you saying to me? >> you don't like the specifics. all i was saying he had specifics. you claimed he didn't. he has plenty of specifics. romney's intentional plan was to have no plan. was to have a piece of paper that was full of holes and angels that basically said trust me, i'll tell you about that after you elect me. that's not working and i think it's working -- not working for a very good reason which is that the american people don't accept that. i think they look at that and they say wait a minute, i have a lot of questions here you're not answering like i have on your taxes. >> so what entitlements does the president plan to cut in the
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next four years to deal with the -- >> the other thing we need to keep in mind during the grand bargain, no formal paper out of the grand bargain but during the bargain much of the angst obama put fairly sacred cows, one to raise the medicare eligibility age, the other to chair the benefits of social security, human and problematic for the progressive community. he was going to do that between $800 billion and $1.2 billion in tax cuts -- tax hikes. this is all in the context of this, is also very agitating for progressives which is they didn't want to cut at this time. he agreed to $1 trillion in cuts and the sequestration which would add $1 trillion more. plenty of people in the progressionsive community said this is not the time to cut. he bought into the argument. so to suggest that obama hasn't put out some specifics is one wrong. to suggest that he's not willing to go and compromise with republicans on this issue is another lst wrong because he's done it. >> the last time we had a candidate who said he was going to cut taxes on the wealthy,
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balance the budget, bring down the deficit, increase the pentagon spending by massive amount, and cut spending, was ronald reagan and ronald reagan blew a massive hole in the deficit. why? because of the point michael just made, he couldn't cut spending. >> couldn't cut spending. >> romney won't be able to either. that's the reality, cutting the spending to doots egg that his plan calls for is not politically possible. so your plan is guaranteed if you succeed at the other portions of it to increase the deficit. >> that's why the angels have it. because it's not of this earth. >> it will be the angels that will have to keep the planes in the air. the ryan budget would basically eliminate the rest of the government. >> air traffic control. >> other than social security, defense and medicare in 2050. >> well, paul ryan is sort of a marginalized character in this situation, these days. coming up the 12 days of congress, lawmakers from the 112th session called it quits in the wee small hours of last saturday morning. before skipping town the senate made sure to pass landmark legislation including the
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approval of commem rative mark twain coins. we will ask luke russert about this congress's achievements and the daunting agenda on the horizon ahead on "now." this country was built by working people. the economy needs manufacturing. machines, tools, people making stuff. companies have to invest in making things. infrastructure, construction, production. we need it now more than ever. chevron's putting more than $8 billion dollars back in the u.s. economy this year. in pipes, cement, steel, jobs, energy. we need to get the wheels turning. i'm proud of that. making real things... for real. ...that make a real difference. ♪
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112th session called it quits in horizon ahead on "now."
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coming up -- president obama takes a moment away from the campaign trail to address foreign policy in front of an international audience. but when he speaks in front of the united nations general assembly tomorrow the climate and president's message could be different from last year's. we will preview the challenges and possible pitfalls ahead on "now." with the spark cash card from capital one, olaf's pizza palace gets the most rewards of any small business credit card! pizza!!!!!
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members are of -- members of our ill lustrous and highly dysfunctional 112th congress packed their bags and headed home for a seven-week break lasting until after the election with two accomplishments to their name. first the 112th is set to become by the far the least productive congress since world war ii. having passed a mere 174 laws, far fewer than harry truman's famous do nothing congress as well as every successive one thereafter. the house was in session for just 12 days in august, september and october. 12. 1-2. our current congress has the dubious distinctionion of receiving the lowest gallup congressional approval rating ever. a paltry 10% which it managed to score twice in february and august before leaving town last week with a stellar moon dusting 13%. before debarting for its break
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congress managed to pass another continuing resolution funding the government through the end of march. the most difficult legislative work will be left until after the election, most notably what to do about the bush tax cuts due to expire at year's end and so-called sequester or $109 billion in automatic spending cuts set to hit the pentagon and other domestic programs come january. congress failed to pass the farm bill, a sibber security bill and bill to reform the u.s. post office which is losing $25 million a day. needless to say, president obama was not pleased. >> last week without much fanfare, members of the house of representatives banged a gavel, turned out the lights and rushed home tee chairing their work finishes for now. if that frustrates you it should because their work isn't finished but apparently some members of congress are more worried about their jobs and paycheck this campaign season than about yours. >> to the skeptics and nay sayers worth noting that the upper chamber did pass a few pressing bills before breaking
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up early saturday morning. the senate passed hr. 245 3 the mark twain commemorative coin act and resolution 558 congratulates athletes of nevada and the u.s. who participated in the 2012 olympic and paralympic games and senators determined astronauts should be able to keep some of the souvenirs they collect in space. joining us now from washington, the sage of capitol hill, and my celebrity dovele ganger, the man for whom boat shoes know no season nbc's luke russert. >> i would wear them in space, if i could. >> why you should be an astronaut my friend. luke, if a mark twain commemorative coin is the best this congress can do, why should we expect them to tackle anything serious before this year or even next? we're hearing talk of sequester two? >> it's looking more and more likely, alex, we will probably see a massive punt of all of these difficult issues into next
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year. however, it's all dependent upon who wins the presidency. if mitt romney wins the presidency i've heard president popular idea is to essentially republican says we will not work on anything to next year, it's our mandate, we have a conservative mandate to move forward to deal with these issues. if president obama wins, there will be some interesting decisions made on the republican side. will republicans say that the loss of mr. romney was, in fact, that we weren't conservative enough or because we were too moderate? if it's the idea that they were too moderate, you would probably see a wanting of -- to fight the president in all the way through the lame duck. the most interesting thing, though, will have to be with the tax cuts. i heard from a few republicans they say this election is really about the tax cuts and the sense of how they will go forward. if the president wins, folks will take that as a sign that they shouldn't fight tooth and nail about the tax cuts as much as they had in the past along with the grover norquist idea.
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see the decoupling of the tax cuts the president wants for those making $250,000 or below and see the expiring ones on millionaires, gop not fight that as much. it's still there's a lot left up in the air. no one nose knows for sure. sequester two, the idea that perhaps you could see in the lame duck the senate finance committee, the house weighs and means committee come up with some sort of idea we'll delay the sequester under the idea we have to figure out way to rewrite the tax code in a way that is as positive revenue but closes these loopholes we don't like, sounds good in theory, conversations about it on capitol hill, there's a lot of conversation about a lot of things that can be done. look through the legislative process in the last four years. committees write things all the time. it's rare they go to the floor and they're successful. look at the farm bill that passed out of the house that couldn't get on the floor. look at health care. how long that took for the committees to work on that bill and nobody was satisfied. so it's not that easy just to do a sequester two.
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>> it's a testament, congress basically has to write its own hostage notes and pass it to themselves under the door and then rip up the hostage notes and pretend there's no hostage situation. is it's so bizarre but i want to open this up to our panel here. talk about this notion of, let's assume for the purposes of argument that the president is re-elected. you know, does, sam, does the fever break? this is something obama has talked about a lot in recent weeks. he's -- he seems convinced republicans will come to their senses if he's re-elected and assuming that democrats hold on to the senate, you know, e.j. dionne writes obama's ability to govern in a second term thus depends not only on his own treeiumf but on the defeat of those obstructing him. if he wins but they win is there much chance that obstruction will stop? >> i feel like obama has to say the fever will break. if not that what's the point? we're going to do this all over again, this song and dance. he does have a few chips to play
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here, primarily that he has to sign any law into law and the bush tax cuts are set to expire under his watch whether he wins or loses. the sequestration will hit whether he wins or loses. he doesn't have to do anything. he can sit on his pen, not sign it and suddenly you're not talking about extending the bush taxes, you're talking about what type of tax cut package you want to pass in its place. he has a few chips to play with respect to whether republicans go for it, i don't know. it's a great unknown. i can't imagine that grover norquist won't go viciously after the first republican that says let's drop this, you know, no new tax hikes. >> let's be clear about why grover norquist can go viciously after our elected officials. not because he's really good at has ser rating them verbally -- >> he is quite has ser rating. >> because he writes checks and bund the people who write checks. when we look at the historic trends around the quality of congress and around the esteem
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that people hold their elected officials in, it paints the picture we have to do public financing of elections. we're just going to have worse elected officials more and more beholden to the very wealthy, the most connected, most powerful, and it's really frustrating. >> but that's not true of the 63 people i helped get elected to congress in 2010. it's not true of the two governors in new jersey and virginia that i helped get elected. and that a lot of folks around the country rallied around because of their ideas about the role of government. so i take your point. i mean, in a broader scale. it goes to something i was saying in our last segment about where the electorate is moving and they are a little more active, more engaged. whether you agree or disagree with tea party or out of plccup street there is a synergy beyond the big bucks. as they're beginning to know aurl the campaign money flowing into the super pacs doesn't seem to be having the kind of impact on the voters that they thought it would be having at the
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presidential level. >> i don't think we have to speculate about what's going to happen if obama wins. the far right of the party that's been driving the election has been out in the last couple weeks preparing everybody for what their line is going to be, which is mitt romney blew it. he's inept, he's too moderate, doesn't champion -- didn't double down on this stuff and they're preparing us for their argument which is we weren't conservative enough. >> luke, i want to ask you, though, in terms of tea party resistance in congress, they know that their numbers are in the tank right now. congress overall. in the last couple weeks we've seen a little bit of give on the part of the republicans in terms of numbers, what they'll allow going past. there seems to be some at least burjing collective sense this kind of obstructionism or hardline isn't the greatest thing for the party. >> there's truth to that, alex. i spoke to a high-ranking republican official that said look, if the president's re-elected and we continue the same strategy we've employed the last two years that would be six years of gridlock heading into
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the 2016 elections. if you have six years of gridlock which democrats will point as republican obstructi obstructionion it makes the republican idea to capture the presidency in 2016 that much more difficult. we know that's what republicans want more than anything in the world. if you have to put a marco rubio, if you have to put a chris christie, put a bob mcdonald and you can tie them to the same gridlock that president obama has been able to tie mitt romney with the republican congress over the last two years it's difficult. i spoke to another republican official that said to me, if we were to go down the same path that we had in the last two years in terms of gridlock against obama for four more, you could be looking at 16 years of obama/clinton presidency, referencing hillary would win in 2016 and that's a nightmare to any republican official. so i think the conventional wisdom is you would see some let up but dependent upon what the party sees itself as. was it too liberal or too conservative? as eric said right there. and that's going to be the
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rebranding of the republican party that comes out in the next two years if mitt romney loses and no one necessarily knows how that's going to look like. >> luke, we don't call you the sage of capitol hill for nothing. what's your over/under on the democrats taking back the house? >> it's very difficult. you hear about this drive for 25. it's like the drive for 35, 40. while they definitely were able to rebenefit in redistricting in illinois and new york, blue dogs are extinct. you look at a place like north carolina, larry kissell, essentially stopped funding, pulled out all the ads for him. he's a moderate blue dog. those guys aren't going to be around. so i would say that the dems will gain some seats but to get the 35, 40 they would need to hand mrs. pelosi back the speaker gavel, very difficult. >> she would like it back. nbc's luke russert, coming in on his day off to enlighten us. thank you, my friend, as always. >> take care. be well. educate the nation. >> after the break following the
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arab spring last year, president obama addressed the united nations general assembly with a message of optimism. but this time around violence in the middle east is fueling a different feeling in the global community. how will the president handle it? we will look at the libya question and other concerns coming up next. i describe myself as a mother, a writer and a performer. i'm also a survivor of ovarian and uterine cancers. i even wrote a play about that. my symptoms were a pain in my abdomen and periods that were heavier and longer than usual for me. if you have symptoms that last two weeks or longer, be brave, go to the doctor. ovarian and uterine cancers are gynecologic cancers. symptoms are not the same for everyone. i got sick...and then i got better.
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the president characterized as bumps in the road, the developments in the middle east. we've just had an ambassador as sass nated. egypt elected a muslim brotherhood or person as president. iran is on the cusp of having nuclear capability. we have tu mult in jar and pakistan. this think this is a time for american leadership. >> that was governor romney speaking to peter alexander this
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hour criticizing the president's leadership record abroad and what a difference a year makes. >> something's happening in our world. the way things have been is not the way that they will be. the humiliating grip of corruption and tyranny is being pride open. but let us remember, peace is hard. peace is hard. progress can be reversed. >> when president obama addressed the u.n. general assembly last year the world was feeling the euphoria of the arab spring. the caveat the president noted about peace is proving true. as he prepares to peek before the u.n. tomorrow he finds himself under pressure regarding the september 11th attack on the consulate in benghazi, libya. calling it the result of protests the administration is now labeling it an act of terrorism. yesterday obama campaign senior adviser robert gibbs pushed back
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against accusations the administration is not telling the whole truth. >> no one intentionally or unintentionally misled anybody involved in this. absolutely not. >> the administration still insists that there is no evidence that the attack was preplanned but republicans believe the plot to be far more sinister and not driven by protests in response to a controversial anti-muslim video. >> i have seen no information that shows that there was a protest going on as you have seen around any other embassy at the time. it was clearly designed to be an attack. >> sam, the bumps in the road comment taken out of context. wasn't referring to the assassination of chris it stevens as a bump in the road. i would argue mitt romney has not used this opportunity to sell himself well in terms of foreign policy but the white house and the position it finds itself, doubling back from comments made earlier about this being just the result of, you know, widespread reactionary protests and not a preplanned attack by al qaeda.
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>> listen, i mean if we are to believe robert gibbs that they are just learning information now about what happened, then that raises questions about what kind of security -- security -- what kind of intelligence we had. why didn't we know that this was going to happen beforehand. i think these are totally legitimate questions. i feel like we should have -- we should ask the questions why wasn't there better security at the consulate, better intelligence than this happening and ask the broader questions what are our overall objections in libya and egypt. we can quibbliist with whether these are bumps in the road and what he meant by that. do we want to be catering these countries to democracy. do we have an obligation to make sure they don't elect someone from the muslim brotherhood. what imprint do we want to have and how do we go about doing it. >> "the new york times" quoting an official, it's a catastrophic intelligence loss, talking about pulling our cias pulling out. mohamed morsi, very difficult relationship with egypt right
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now. mohamed morsi says egypt will not be hostile to the u.s. but not as accommodating as hose hosni mubarak was. what does the president need to say in terms of, you know -- he's speaking to a global audience at the u.n. general assembly. what does he need to say to your mind? >> you know, i think a little bit of honesty here. i think that to admit that there have been some difficulties, i mean, i agree with that statement, peace is hard and i think that the president should acknowledge that process has been difficult and that's why you've seen some of the -- some of these things kind of emerge in the last few weeks with respect to libya and so forth. you can only kill osama bin laden so many times. and you saw this morning, david axelrod sort of pivoting back to that point well, got osama bin laden. okay. we got that. but now there's a broader question that sam touched on about what does stability in the middle east look like in this region when you look at all these bad actors which mitt
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romney i think correctly pointed out, how do you deal with this as a united states and with your partners in the region and globally. i think peace becomes even more difficult when you consider all the interests whether it's china, whether it's the soviets or russia, i'm old school, you know, what's old is new, and i think that those are kind of the new realities here that the next president will have to deal with. >> and it's certainly a time of great shift. we will see when the president addresses unga tomorrow, i'm usinged shorthand. coming up tea party star marco rubio uses a flight day tlai to rail against american airlines. he also took the opportunity to voice concerns about his executive platinum status. we will discuss his sky priority problems next in what now. [ female announcer ] need help keeping your digestive balance?
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oh, hey alex. just picking up some, brochures, posters copies of my acceptance speech. great! it's always good to have a backup plan, in case i get hit by a meteor. wow, your hair looks great. didn't realize they did photoshop here. hey, good call on those mugs. can't let 'em see what you're drinking. you know, i'm glad we're both running a nice, clean race. no need to get nasty. here's your "honk if you had an affair with taylor" yard sign. looks good. [ male announcer ] fedex office. now save 50% on banners.
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welcome back. time for what now. the skies not so friendly on friday for senator marco rubio who tweeted about his frustrations with american airlines writing -- eric bates, this sort of went on for some time before he finally tweeted, i must now turn off my electronic device. i hope tonight's tirade did not cost me my platinum status. >> couple things are great. one, yub is rushing back to -- rub yao is rushing back to knock off work and he was upset he was late to knock off work and then later he tweeted, some of the american airline employees were out on sick outs and protesting
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labor dispute and he said i talked to the crew, sick out isn't true, they're understaffed. senator mark rubio is believing union workers. >> well. >> about their staffing situation. i took as a really good sign. this could be the start of something. >> for collective bargaining certainly, including marco rubio in the mix apparently. he did note that the pilot was a tea partier, heather mcghee. >> thank god. >> and also sam stein, senator cornyn tweeted about american airlines saying rash of minor maintenance issues including mine to austin, what's it about. #what's it all about. >> did they discover that flying is a real pain. >> yes. and they also discovered hash tags apparently. >> that's what happens when you couldn't invest in infrastructure. >> boom. bringing it all back. >> full circle. >> to chairman steele, sam stein heather mcghee and eric bates. see you back at noon eastern, 9:00 pacific when joined by ed rendell, the "washington post"
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jonathan capehart and steve core knacken. fund us at facebook.com/now with alex. "andrea mitchell reports" and in new york city. good evening, ain dre ya. great to have you here. >> thanks so much. we are here for our education nation summit. and joining us today education secretary arne duncan, new york city schools chancellor dennis wolcott, also my conversation with former secretary of state condoleezza rice that kicked off the summit today. and chelsea clinton with a reading revolution in one city. all that next on "andrea mitchell reports." i'm meteorologist bill karins with your business travel forecast. after a chilly start what a beautiful afternoon it's going to be in so many areas of the country today. from the great lakes to the ohio valley, all through the eastern seaboard. little hotter from areas of texas back out into arizona.
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we're still pretty warm in many areas of the intermountain west. nice in l.a. today, 78. enjoy your day. ♪ leaving my homeland ♪ playing a lone hand ♪ my life begins today ♪ ♪ fly by night away from here ♪ ♪ change my life again ♪ ♪ fly by night, goodbye my dear ♪ ♪ my ship isn't coming ♪ and i just can't pretend oww! ♪ [ male announcer ] careful, you're no longer invisible in a midsize sedan. the volkswagen passat.
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i want you to know, there's another commitment bp takes just as seriously: our commitment to america. bp supports nearly two-hundred-fifty thousand jobs in communities across the country. we hired three thousand people just last year. bp invests more in america than in any other country. in fact, over the last five years, no other energy company has invested more in the us than bp. we're working to fuel america for generations to come. today, our commitment to the gulf, and to america, has never been stronger. right now on "andrea mitchell reports" all worlds collide this week in new york city. world leaders here for the un general assembly. president clinton's global initiative and nbc's education nation summit, where both president obama and mitt romney wil be offering their ideas for solutions to our

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NOW With Alex Wagner
MSNBC September 24, 2012 9:00am-10:00am PDT

News/Business. Alex Wagner. Forces driving the day's stories. New.

TOPIC FREQUENCY Romney 13, America 8, Obama 8, Garth 5, Us 4, U.s. 4, Libya 4, Angels 4, David Axelrod 4, Marco Rubio 4, Michael Steele 3, Phillips 3, Sam 3, New York City 3, Neosporin Eczema Essentials 3, U.n. 3, Luke 3, Humana 3, Grover Norquist 3, Pentagon 2
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